When an entertainer dressed as a big cuddly bear arrives at a fancy dress party, the children are delighted. They hoot with laughter as he drinks water from a vase, goes wild on his skateboard and bursts all the balloons. So, after a fond farewell at the end of the day, everyone is surprised when another entertainer turns up, full of apologies for being late!
I suggested to the kids tonight that we do a group bedtime story. They both excitedly headed to our room for a story when they saw the cover of our new book. Emma Dodd's The Entertainer is a decent sized picture book, in paper back form. The cover art is really cute, with the bear front and centre. The children on the cover all looking towards him, you can not help but look into his eyes too.
As we opened the front page I commented on the zoo keeper and the open cage image. I wondered aloud, what had been in the cage? As we read on, it was fun to watch the Entertainer arrive at the costume party and see what everyone made of his tricks. I loved the juxtaposition between how the kids felt about the bear, and how the mum in particular found him. The laughter of the children in the book was easily matched by my two giggly gerties too who loved each page.
The font in this book changes up all over the pages. This gave the book a dynamic feel. There is a lot of movement and energy in the story and the illustrations, so this worked really well. It was easy to read and the patter of the rhyme was easy to pick up. It felt quite natural to read and I felt my children were getting the full effect of the story as well as the little etiquette tips which were pretty funny as well.
At one point I found that I was having to move the book away, because the children were completely crowding me to get closer to the book. My 2 year old was trying to grab the fruit off the page and was picking her favourites (bananas) to eat with a gulp just like the bear. This caused Miss 7 to join in and before I knew it, the book was getting a bit of a lick. Yuck! The twist at the end was not too surprising, as my eldest worked that out almost immediately.
It's fair to say that this book was a massive hit in my house. The price of $19 is quite reasonable for a picture book, and this one is absolutely going to get read again and again. It's so nice to see my girls excited about a book, and this one got them really excited and energized. Okay, not exactly what I was going for at bedtime, but it was fabulous fun to watch them laughing along together.
The bear's eyes caught my eye as I looked at the cover of this book. It was obvious from the initial glance of the cover that the story was about an entertainer at a party. Reading the book gave us a bit of a surprise as to who the entertainer was, or at least the mistaken entertainer!
The illustrations throughout the book are bold and comical. My children enjoyed looking at them very much. Mr Four spent quite a bit of time with each page and wouldn't let me move on to the next page unit we had absorbed the page we had just read. I liked the strong black lines which contrasted with the bright colours of the images.
What adults think of as a disaster, children will often love and retain very fond memories of the event. The bear in this story, created lots of chaos at the birthday party. Having organised birthday parties for my own children, I think that I would have been devastated by the unexpected nature of what happened in the story. When I was reading the book to my children, they were laughing and giggling the whole way through the story. It wasn't until the end of the book that they actually realised why the bear was creating so much mayhem. Kids love when things going wrong, it can be totally hilarious and a bear in a house is one sure way of things going crazy. Reading the story is a great reminder to serious adults that even if things don't go to plan, the kids will still have lots of fun.
The size of the book is a nice one for sharing with a group of children. The illustrations are strong and easily seen from a reasonable distance away. This would make 'The Entertainer' a great book to share with children at school or in Early Childhood centres. The font used in the book is fun to look at. I like the fact that some of the words are bold and larger in order to emphasise the words.
This is a fun book that I think all children would enjoy reading or having read to them. It is a perfect addition to the bedtime routine.
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